Subaru has launched an updated version of the Forester, which features some extra safety technology, a little more standard equipment and some mechanical changes that the company says has improved the car’s ride and handling.
The revised SUV will soon wade into battle with segment favourites such as the Mazda CX-5 and the Skoda Karoq. Subaru is yet to confirm UK prices for the tweaked Forester, but we’re expecting a marginal increase over the outgoing car’s £36,360 starting price at the most.
Subaru’s biggest update for the Forester is the addition of its fourth-generation EyeSight driver-assistance technology. All of the system’s sensors now have a wider field of view and there are now an extra three functions – automatic emergency steering, lane-departure prevention and adaptive cruise control with lane centring.
Buyers also get an upgraded version of the Forester’s driver-monitoring system. Now, there’s a gesture control function that allows the driver to adjust the climate control by waving their hand – and the system can still automatically adjust the seat position and mirrors simply by recognising the driver’s face with its interior camera.
On the chassis front, Subaru has replaced all of the Forester’s coil springs, which it says has smoothed out the car’s ride and improved its handling. As before, four-wheel drive comes as standard, and every variant gets torque-vectoring differentials.
Like the smaller XV, the Forester now gets Subaru’s e-Active Shift Control system, which automatically senses when the car is driving down a winding back road using G-meters, and adjusts the gearbox shift pattern to make the car feel more agile.
Subaru’s engineers have fiddled with the SUV’s hill descent-control system, too. Now, it only releases the handbrake once the accelerator is pressed – and it re-engages the moment the driver takes their foot off the pedal.
The updated Forester is powered by the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine as the previous model, and has an identical output of 148bhp and 194Nm of torque. The engine is assisted by a small 16bhp electric motor that can drive the car on electric power alone for about one mile, at up to 25mph.
The revisions are rounded off by a handful of styling and functionality tweaks. The Forester’s front end has been redesigned, with a new radiator grille, new surrounds for the fog lamps and slightly rejigged headlamps. Meanwhile, there’s some new cargo hooks for the boot to make sure buyers can take full advantage of the SUV’s 509-litre boot.
Lastly, there’s a choice of three new paint finishes, called Cascade Green Silica, Brilliant Bronze Metallic and Autumn Green Metallic.
Now read about Subaru’s new STI E-RA Concept racer…